Milan attempting to revitalise women's fashion week
After London, it is Milan's turn to continue the fashion show season, starting on Wednesday 21st September until 26th September. The Fashion Week for women's Spring/Summer 2017 collections which has started in the Lombardy capital features a revamped programme, with new names and grand come-backs compensating for withdrawals and for the absence of well-known names.
Altogether, Milan has announced 176 collections, compared to the record figure of 182 last season. There will be 71 official shows (plus several outside the official calendar, such as Dolce & Gabbana on Sunday 25th September, Mario Dice and Roccobarocco), and 90 presentations, compared to 70 official shows and 99 presentations last February.
Two notable absences are those of Costume National, now owned by Japanese group Sequedge, and Iceberg. The latter, which recently appointed James Long as its womenswear creative director (he was already in charge of men's), has decided to change strategy and stop showing.
Also missing are I'm Isola Marras, Damir Doma, which decided to change approach, Angelo Marani and Ujoh, which held its debut show in Milan last season.
To liven up the week, Milan is holding a myriad of initiatives: parties, store openings and other events and exhibitions. "We are planning more than 30 events, not counting the unscheduled ones, creating a host of socialising opportunities within the city. All these events will be crucial for the fashion week," said the President of the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (CNMI, the Italian fashion chamber) Carlo Capasa.
One of the major draws will doubtlessly be Bottega Veneta's mixed show at the prestigious Brera Fine Arts Academy, where the fashion label will celebrate its 50th anniversary and Tomas Maier's 15th as creative director.
As for celebrities, this season Milan Fashion Week was able to once again count on the presence of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who will host the national fashion industry's elite on opening day.
Among the other highlights, there is the return of Krizia to the official calendar, on Friday 23rd September. The historic women's ready-to-wear label founded by Mariuccia Mandelli had not featured on the catwalks since its acquisition by Chinese fashion group Shenzhen Marisfrolg Fashion, in February 2014.
Another come-back, on the same day, is that of the Lucio Costa brand, with the presentation of the 'So Lucio!' book, dedicated to the talented designer who died in 2012. The label is back in business under the aegis of Costa's associate and partner Roberto Pelizzoni, currently the label's Creative Director. Pelizzoni recently signed a three-year licence agreement with Italian manufacturer Bond Factory and will present a first capsule collection in Milan.
On the following day, 24th September, the first ready-to-wear line by Italian haute couture label Capucci, directed by Mario Dice, will also be unveiled. Two other labels returning to the Milan fashion week are Daizy Shely and Maurizio Pecoraro, while three new names will be joining the party.
Firstly, Wunderkind, which started the ball rolling on Wednesday 21st. The German label, founded in 2003 by eclectic designer/artist Wolfgang Joop, has left Berlin for Milan, where it organised a successful event last February.
Giamba, Giambattista Valli's second line, launched in September 2014 and until now showing off-calendar, will feature within the official programme on Friday 23rd. The week's last day, Monday 26th, will mark the debut of Ricostru, the young label by Chinese designer Rico Manchit Au, invited by Giorgio Armani to show at his Milan theatre.
The renowned couturier, who exceptionally this season is showing his young label Emporio Armani in Paris, will occupy a new slot on a more central day, Friday 23rd (when his second line usually shows), thus leaving the programme's last day.
Monday 26th September will also be without Dsquared2, set to show the previous day, in the evening. The absence of these two big names could potentially cause the media to up sticks and leave on the last day, which will feature five shows instead of last February's nine, mostly dedicated to emerging or lesser-known brands.
"My ambition is to make the last day the most important time of the fashion week. These brands are full of potential, and they must prove they have something to say without being hampered by major names," said Carlo Capasa.
Emerging labels Lucio Vanotti, Piccione.Piccione and San Andres Milano will be showing on the last day, alongside Chinese label Ricostru.
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